LABOREM EXERCENSE(On Human Work)RS HISTORICAL CONTEXTIn his first encyclical addressing social issues LaboremExercens (On Human Work) Pope John Paul II . Enciclica Laborem exercens. Main Author: Chiappetta, Luigi. Related Names: John Paul II Pope Language(s): Italian. Published: Napoli: Edizioni dehoniane, c Subjects. Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) / Juan Pablo II ; autor, Equipo DEI “Texto completo de la enciclica ; un comentario desde América Latina.”.
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Catalog Record: Sobre el trabajo humano (Laborem exercens) | Hathi Trust Digital Library
John Paul called these “threats to the right order of values. This circumstance constitutes in itself the most eloquent “Gospel of work”, showing that the basis for determining the value of human work is not primarily the kind of work being done but the fact that the one who is doing it is a person. Work and industriousness also influence the whole process of education in the family, for the very reason that everyone “becomes a human being” through, among other things, work, and becoming a human being is precisely the main purpose of the whole process of education.
Obviously, it remains clear that every human being sharing in the production process, even if he or she is only doing the kind of work for which no special training or qualifications are required, is the real efficient subject in this production process, while the whole collection of instruments, no matter how perfect they may be in themselves, are only a mere instrument subordinate to human labour.
Union demands cannot be turned into a kind of group or class “egoism”, although they can and should also aim at correcting-with a view to the common good of the whole of society- everything defective in the system of ownership of the means of production or in the way these are managed. It can be a question of general unemployment or of unemployment in certain sectors of work. In a sense, unions go back to the mediaeval guilds of artisans, insofar as those organizations brought together people belonging to the same craft and thus on the basis of their work.
These truths are decisive for man from the very beginning, and at the same time they trace out the main lines of his earthly existence, both in the state of original justice and also after the breaking, caused by sin, of the Creator’s original covenant with creation in man.
A systematic opportunity for thinking and evaluating in this way, and in a certain sense a stimulus for doing so, is provided by the quickening process of the development of a onesidedly materialistic civilization, which gives prime importance to the objective dimension of work, while the subjective dimension-everything in direct or indirect relationship with the subject of work-remains on a secondary level.
The break occurred in such a way that labour was separated from capital and set in opposition to it, and capital was set in opposition to labour, as though they were two impersonal forces, two production factors juxtaposed in the same “economistic” perspective.
The criterion of full employment will only be achieved through planning and coordination among all the indirect employers, and a better coordination of education with employment.
While one can say that, by reason of its subject, work is one single thing one and unrepeatable every timeyet when one takes into consideration its objective directions one is forced to admit that there exist many works, many different sorts of work.
It indicates that the social question must be dealt with in its whole complex dimension. Georgetown University Press, Washington, Enckclica. The Planet Is Alive The present reflections on work are not intended to follow a different line, but rather to be in organic connection with the whole tradition of this teaching and activity.
This principle directly concerns the process of production: Dignitatis humanae Gaudium et spes.
Man has to subdue the earth and dominate it, because as the “image of God” he is a person, that is to say, a subjective being capable of acting in a planned and rational way, capable of deciding about himself, and with a tendency to self-realization. In this way there have appeared not only the simplest instruments for exercehs the earth but also, through adequate progress in science and technology, the more modern and complex ones: If the purchasers insist on the lowest possible prices, the workers in another part of the world are indirectly affected.
Encicica contrast, he named two ideas he considered to be errors: Based upon this view, John Paul proposed a flexible and dynamic view of ownership and economics, and commended arrangements in which workers share in the ownership, such as shareholding by workers, joint ownershipand profit-sharing. I must however first touch on a very important field of questions in which her teaching has taken shape in this latest period, the one marked and in a sense symbolized by the publication of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum.
During the years that separate us from the publication of the Encyclical Rerum Novarum, the social question has not ceased to engage the Church’s attention.
Laborem Exercens (14 September ) | John Paul II
This explains why the analysis of human work in the light of the words concerning man’s “dominion” over the earth goes to the very heart of the ethical and social question.
Recently, national communities and international organizations have turned their attention to another question connected with work, one full of implications: Materialism subordinates people to property; while economism regards the value of human labour only according to its economic purpose. This exxercens one of the causes of an ever increasing disproportion between national incomes.
Understood in this case not as a capacity or aptitude for work, but rather as a whole set of instruments which man uses in his work, technology is undoubtedly man’s ally. Work in the objective sense should be subordinated, in this circumstance too, to the dignity of man, to the subject of work and not to economic advantage.
Catalog Record: Il lavoro umano nell’enciclica “Laborem | Hathi Trust Digital Library
This trend of development of the Church’s teaching and commitment in the social question exactly corresponds to the objective recognition of the state of affairs.
For instance the highly industrialized countries, and even more the exercenw that direct on a large paborem the means of industrial production the companies referred to as multinational or transnationalfix the highest possible prices for their products, while trying at the same time to fix the lowest possible prices for raw materials or semi-manufactured goods.
Man must work out of regard for others, especially his own family, but also for the society he belongs to, the country of which he is a child, and the whole human family of which he is a member, since he is the heir to the work of generations and at the same time a sharer in building the future of those who will come after him in the succession of history.
Through this conclusion one rightly comes to recognize the pre-eminence of the subjective meaning of work over the objective one. The Encyclical Rerum Novarum, which has the social question as its theme, stresses this issue also, recalling and confirming the Church’s teaching on ownership, on the right to private property even when it is a question of the means of production.
Each and every individual, to the proper extent and in an incalculable number of ways, takes part in the giant process whereby man “subdues the earth” through his work.
This does not mean that, from the objective point of view, human work cannot and must not be rated and qualified in any way. As one example, John Paul mentions manufacturing companies in developed countries that purchase raw materials from less developed countries.
Within the individual States there are ministries or public departments and also various social institutions set up for this purpose. This is not to absolve the direct employer from his own responsibility, but only to draw attention to the whole network of influences that condition his conduct.
A third sector concerns the right to a pension and to insurance for old age and in case of accidents at work. Various new systems have been thought out. In addition there were other elements of exploitation, connected with the lack of safety at work and of safeguards regarding the health and living conditions of the workers and their families.